SHSMD 2018 is now under way in Seattle, Washington.
The Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development (SHSMD), is a professional membership group of the American Hospital Association. The annual conference brings together health marketing and strategic leaders from healthcare systems, providers, and consulting companies nationwide.
This morning’s Healthcare Marketing Credentials session features faculty member Rob Klein of Klein & Partners. Rob’s company provides health marketing research and customer insight to help his clients make informed marketing decisions. Two of Rob’s insights emphasized the importance of health marketing compliance in marketing and strategy management:
I care about the health of the brand. If you make a bad marketing decision, you can lose your job.
Here’s some of our own observations on Rob’s thoughts:
Brand health is legal health. Great marketing plans do not begin with great ideas alone. Why? Because great ideas sometimes put your health marketing efforts at great legal risk. What do we mean by risk? Things like:
- Copyright infringement. Failure to secure rights to images, or distributing copies of proprietary research or publications without a proper license.
- Trademark infringement. Commencing a health marketing campaign with a new brand name or slogan without a proper trademark search, clearance, or registration.
- Consumer Class actions. Certain law firms seek-out health marketing violations that are ripe for class action lawsuits. Marketing violations that can quickly escalate into major law suits include violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA); HIPAA Marketing Laws; and CAN-SPAM Act.
Take an ounce of [legal] prevention. The median hospital marketing department annual budget is $3.1 million, according to a survey by Klein & Partners and Greystone.net. Yet our own observations of marketing compliance practices indicates that very few marketers invest part of their overall budget in brand marketing clearance, protection, and risk-mitigation. This is despite the fact that failure to properly implement marketing compliance training and programs could result in losses that are equal to or greater than a hospital’s annual marketing budget. An exaggeration? Hardly. Many health care marketers have unfortunately realized such losses through a combination of attorney’s fees, monetary damages, corrective advertising, and injury brand reputation.
Thanks to SHSMD and speakers like Rob Klein for running a great conference.
Marketing Compliance Advisory. Health marketing compliance training and guidelines should be part of every healthcare marketing plan. To discuss how to implement one in your organization, contact James Hastings, Editor.